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New Iowa license debuts, tougher job to counterfeit

Thursday, October 20, 2005

At the unveiling of the new Iowa driver's license design on Tuesday, Iowa Department of Transportation officials said lawbreakers will have a harder time trying to counterfeit the improved licenses.

That means more identity thieves and underage drinkers will thwarted by the multiple layers of security that are part of the design, which was unveiled in Cedar Rapids. A driver's license station there will serve as a pilot for the new driver's license system.

It began offering the new licenses on Tuesday. They will be available on Oct. 25 in Iowa City and statewide by Dec. 6.

The design is an important new tool to combat license counterfeiting, which has long been a serious problem, said Kim Snook, a field manager for Iowa's Office of Driver Services.

Snook said some of the new security features are apparent to retailers, others to law enforcement. Some are accessible only to license administrators, she said.

"There are security features I don't know, and I helped design it," she said.

The new card differs in appearance from the older design. It has a pastel pink stripe across the top, and a colorful, intricate Iowa state seal. It's also thinner, with a tamper-resistant covering that is almost impossible to remove without destroying the card, Snook said.



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